Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Keeping up with the Rabble

The monetary system has created two distinct classes in the world today, the super wealthy and the rest of the rabble. Which one do you belong to? Oh never mind. As the super rich of the Western powers continue their rapacious slaughter and mugging of the masses they are now perhaps thinking they may have something to worry about. In this Machiavellian world they have molded they are at last looking into the future and the poor dears are becoming a bit nervous. While our powdered and pampered stooges of power vie within their power structure to see who can become the next kingpin of crime in the White House (It has just struck me that the “white” in White House has a double meaning) the military leaders of the West have come up with their own The Prince.

Chris Floyd gives us one of his astute rundowns on plans for a new and improved NATO whereby the Western powers shall keep the various brown peoples of the world in their place by reserving our white right to a first nuclear strike mandate so as to preserve for all time those vaunted and glorious “interests” of the Western powers from the rampaging hordes who clamor and come a-knocking upon our door.

The Lords of the West have called upon their elder chieftains of war to chart a course that will preserve their power and preeminence in the face of an ever-more uncertain future. The answer? A meaner, leaner NATO, openly committed to a nuclear first-strike strategy and stripped of all the "consensus" garbage that has sometimes hampered the organization's American bosses.

Five former military headmen from the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Holland have issued a "radical manifesto" calling for "root-and-branch reform" of NATO and a new "grand strategy" yoking the United States, NATO and the European Union more tightly together in a military behemoth under Washington's dominion, the Guardian reports.

The Mighty Five – who wrote their report "following discussions with active commanders and policymakers, many of whom are unable or unwilling to publicly air their views" – were adamant in their insistence that a "nuke first, ask questions later policy" was "indispensible" in fending off any of the lesser breeds who want a piece of the action. "The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation," say the big brass.

(Who show a delightful talent for turning a phrase, by the way. "Quiver of escalation!" Fine stuff indeed, capturing both the minatory image of weapons at the ready – and the psychosexual thrill that all militarists feel at the thought of a good surge.)

In order to "prevail" over the dusky hordes, the brass also call for: "an overhaul of NATO decision-making methods;" eliminating consensus votes and national vetoes; doing away with the right of member nations to restrict how their troops will be used in an operation; "the use of force without UN Security Council authorization," and setting up a "new directorate" of leaders who can bypass "EU obstructions" (i.e., objections to America's will) and "respond rapidly" when Washington whistles.

You are probably thinking, wow I am glad I am one with the West, a good U.S. citizen on the side of white and right. But think again. There is only them and there are the rest of us. Unless you belong to that class of the super wealthy you are just cannon fodder and slated for sacrifice to the great god meat grinder who awaits you with open maw.

Paul Craig Roberts

US job growth in the 21st century has been confined to low-pay domestic services. During 2007, waitresses and bartenders, health care and social assistance, and wholesale and retail trade, transportation and utilities accounted for 91% of new private sector jobs.

When a population drowning in debt is hit with unemployment from recession on top of unemployment from offshoring, will the people spend their rebates in eating places and bars, thus boosting employment among waitresses and bartenders? Will they spend their rebates in shopping malls, thus boosting employment for retail clerks? If they become ill, the lack of medical insurance will direct their rebates to doctors' bills.

Economists and other shills for globalism told Americans not to worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs. Good riddance, they said, to these "old economy" jobs. The "new economy" would bring better and higher paying jobs in technical and professional services that would free Americans from the drudgery of factory work. So far, these jobs haven't shown up, and if they do, most will be susceptible to offshoring, just like the manufacturing jobs.

David Lindorff

So now the Federal Reserve has weighed in with a 3/4 percent cut in the Federal Funds rate. Even though commercial banks followed suit, lowering the prime lending rate by a similar 3/4 percent, the stock market showed how much good that move would do, dropping almost 300 points at the opening bell today--about what it had been expected to do even without an interest-rate cut.

There was one place where the Fed's action did have an impact though: the exchange value of the dollar in foreign currency markets. No sooner was word of the interest rate cut announced, than the dollar fell against major currencies like the British Pound, the Euro and the Japanese Yen.

And there's the rub. The Fed is in a trap. It cannot cut interest rates much more without causing a collapse in the dollar, which, because of the huge US trade imbalance, and all those consumer goods and raw materials--especially oil--that are imported--would lead to serious and politically dangerous inflation. And there is another constraint: with the current rate cut, the US now has the third lowest interest rates in the world. If the Fed makes another cut, as it has hinted it might in a week or so, only Japan would have a lower interest rate environment than the US. That makes the dollar a very undesirable currency for foreigner investors, which means they won't want to hold dollars, and they won't want to hold US stocks.

Yet if the Fed doesn't cut interest rates even further, the stock market will continue to plunge, which again discourages foreign investors from pouring their money into the U.S., which in turn puts downward pressure on the dollar.

There is the whiff of a New World Odor in the air but it does not smell of roses, methinks it stinks.